Is it Political Propaganda by the IOC ?

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Sport Philosophy
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Is it Political Propaganda by the IOC?

Criticism on the critical comment of Sankei Shimbun News Paper regarding Unified Team of North and South Korea for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Mr. President Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee, invited
representatives from South Korea and North Korean to the IOC
headquarters at Lausanne on 15 February 2019. They discussed potential
joint activities for both NOCs in the run-up to and during the Olympic
Games Tokyo 2020. These delegations were composed of respective NOCs
and governments led by the two NOC Presidents and two Sports Ministers.

As a result of this meeting, both NOCs would collaborate to unify teams for
women's basketball, women's hockey, judo and rowing for the Olympic Games
2020 in Tokyo.

Certainly Olympism welcomes this conclusion, because this shows the efforts
for unification of Koreans divided into two countries by politics through sport.
It shall be the very important first steps to realize the Olympic ideal.

However, Sankei Shimbun, one of the major Japanese news papers,
criticized on this issue inaugurated by the IOC presidency strongly in its
editorial on 17 February 2019. On the contrary I can see the innermost
secrets of Olympism which could make more peaceful world through sport,
with considering the logics of the editorial.

I will try to criticize the editorial stated above.
Its title is "IOC helps political Propaganda?"

It starts "Unified Korean team must not be welcomed because it cannot
be recognized as a pure sporting scene". I think this phrase sum up the
editorial views perfectly. It inclines "Sport must be pure and prudent.
We can recognize the being of sport only if it is prudent within its circle.
But if it would break the mold, have opinion on the social innovation, or challenge
for political bottleneck, sport shall be died. Spot must be sheathed in itself."

However, I believe that this stereotyped way of thinking has been severe
hurdles to realize the peaceful world. How can we overcome Nationalism?
That is the crucial issue, which Olympism has been challenging through sport.

Its editorial says ".......North Korea has never implemented the denuclearization
in spite of its promise under the sanction of the United Nations.....North Korea
is a crime nation that would not return the innocent abductees to Japan.......We
could not find the solution on this issue. Under such circumstances making
friendly mode just for Kim Jonn-un Regime" It says it is sound argument
but on the contrary it omits the reasons why Kim Jong-un Regime would not
implement the denuclearization and would not return the Japanese abductees.

I do not mention which is fair or right.

In the political circle, conflicts must be inevitable. Each has each opinion
on each issue. The reasonable theory is depending on each belonging.
There are possibilities for each to conflict each other and to
touch the war. To avoid the political argument and to make peaceful world,
we must meet together on face to face basis as an individual.
It shall be the only way for its realization of peace.

The editorial continued "...We wish the IOC will consider what the unified
team of South and North Korea brought during Peyoung Chang Olympic Winter
Games and Asian Games 2018....At the joint marching of Korean unified delegation
they tried to raise the unified flag including Dokdo, island whose belonging has
been argued between Japan and Korea....It was making sport of political tool
for propaganda of Korea..."

However, IOC and OCA did not recognize the unified flag including Dokto
on the basis of Olympic spirit. And unified delegations crossed the political

The editorial mentions "Olympic Games is easy especially for North Korea
to utilize because it is most world widely.

I underlined this editorial must be the one who underestimates sport.
North Korea recognized that Olympics must be only opportunity to realize
something politics could never do. Therefore they agreed the unification of
Korea through sport.

Although the editorial says that IOC president must be aware of his
participation into the political use of sport, I belive it must be one of
most historical moments for Olympics to make more peaceful world
by use of politics. For those who estimate sport under politics, it is beyond
their imagination. But now it is the time for sport to use politics.

"Co-organization of Olympic Games 2032 shall be impossible dream" the
editorial says "Because the WADA recognized the anti-doping authority of
North Korea as an ineligible organization" But it is just the present situation.
More important thing is that north Korea will have an eligible Anti-doping
Organ for the future under the guidance and support of IOC.

If the Olympic Games 2032 will be held by the co-organization of south
and north Korea, it might be a light of the hope to the world. It reminds us
that the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized the end of the post Cold War period.

Referring to the XIth Games of Olympiad held at Berlin 1936, people say
it was utilized by Adolf Hitler for the propaganda of Nazism. But studying
seriously, Karl Diem, one of the famous Olympic Educators, contributed
himself to organize the Olympic Games stated above and to create the
model of the present Olympic Games, such as Torch Relay, protocol of the
Opening Ceremony and so forth. Even opening speech proclaimed by
the Head of State, Hitler, was executed in accordance with Olympic Charter,
so Hitler could not appeal his own phrases.

From my personal viewpoint, Olympism took this opportunity to promote its own philosophy by the practical use of Nazism at this moment. It is turning point for sport to start challenging to make peaceful world by its power. On that time it was so weak but it had much possibility to be a real hope, if human being would ask for peace.

The editorial in question underlines "Olympic Games co-organized by south and
north Korea is just the “political show” camouflaged by sport without reality."
But I believe Peace the politics could not realize can be challenged by
sport and this challenge might change the world.

Finally the editorial concludes "IOC shall see the real world with cooling
down." But I understand the intelligence of the IOC has been covering all
over the world through Olympic network. IOC President has his own hotlines
to the tops of the world. I persuade Sankei Shimbun might see the real world
with a calm mind. They seem to think every issues on the basis of nationalism
without study of Olympism.

Dated 24th of February 2019

Ryoichi Kasuga
Sport Philosopher
Ex International Director of Japanese Olympic Committee